What is Blood pressure?
Blood pressure is the force exerted by circulating blood against the walls of the body’s arteries, the major blood vessels in the body.
What 2 numbers in BP indicates?
Blood pressure is written as two numbers.
- The first (systolic) number represents the pressure in blood vessels when the heart contracts or beats.
- The second (diastolic) number represents the pressure in the vessels when the heart rests between beats.
Hypertension according to WHO
Hypertension is diagnosed if, when it is measured on two different days, the systolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥140 mmHg and/or the diastolic blood pressure readings on both days is ≥90 mmHg.
Classification of Blood Pressure for Adults
Systolic, mm Hg
Diastolic, mm Hg
|High normal (Prehypertension)||
|Stage 1 hypertension||
|Stage 2 hypertension||
|Stage 3 hypertension(Hypertensive emergency)||
|Isolated systolic hypertension||
What causes Hypertension?
There are basically 2 types of Hypertension
- Primary Hypertension
- Secondary Hypertension
- Primary Hypertension-
Primary hypertension is also called “Essential hypertension”.
- Hypertension which develops over time with no identifiable cause.
- Most people suffer from this type.
- One such factor for Primary Hypertension could be, Genes– Some people are genetically predisposed to hypertension. This may be from gene mutations or genetic abnormalities inherited from your parents.
- Lifestyle– Sedentary lifestyle, eating oily, spicy, canned foods.
2. Secondary Hypertension
- When high blood pressure is caused by an underlying condition.
- This tends to appear suddenly and cause higher blood pressure than does primary hypertension.
- Various conditions and medications can lead to secondary hypertension, including:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Adrenal gland tumors
- Thyroid problems
- congenital heart defects
- Side effects of medications
- Alcohol abuse or chronic use
- Endocrine tumors
- Certain medications,-such as birth control pills, cold remedies, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and some prescription drugs
- illegal drugs- such as cocaine and amphetamines.
Why Hypertension is known as “Silent Killer”?
It is referred to as the “silent killer” because it may show no warning signs and symptoms. It silently affects your blood vessels.
There is an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure and stroke.
Signs & Symptoms of Hypertension
- Early morning headaches
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Vision changes
- Buzzing in the ears
- Chest pain
- Muscle tremors
High blood pressure has many risk factors-
- Age- The risk of high blood pressure increases as you age.
- Family history- High blood pressure tends to run in families.
- Being overweight – More blood is needed to supply oxygen and nutrients to the tissues if a person is overweight. More the blood flows through blood vessels more the pressure is exerted on artery walls.
- Not being physically active- People who have a sedentary lifestyle tend to have higher heart rates. A higher heart rate means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood.
- Using tobacco- Smoking or chewing tobacco immediately raises blood pressure also the chemicals in tobacco damage the lining of artery walls. Further leading arteries to narrow and increase the risk of heart disease.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your diet- Too much sodium in a diet can cause body to retain fluid, which increases blood pressure.
- Drinking too much alcohol- Affects heart muscles.
- High levels of stress can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure.
- Certain chronic conditions. Certain chronic conditions also increase risk of high blood pressure- including kidney disease, diabetes, etc.
When to visit a Doctor?
If you have any of the above symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.
Most of the time, high blood pressure doesn’t cause headaches or nosebleeds. But, this can happen in a hypertensive crisis when blood pressure is above 180/120 mmHg.
It’s important to remember that high blood pressure doesn’t usually have symptoms.
So, everyone should get it checked regularly.
How to prevent High BP?
High BP is a lifestyle disorder, if we improve our dietary habits and focus on daily exercises and eating a balanced & healthy diet it could be totally prevented.
- Reducing salt intake (to less than 5g daily)
- Daily exercises
- Being active
- Avoiding use of Tobacco, Alcohol
- Avoiding oily, spicy and packaged food
- Eliminating/reducing trans fats in diet
Recommended tests for a High BP person
- Urine test
- Cholesterol screening and other blood tests
- Assessing heart’s electrical activity with an electrocardiogram(ECG)
- Ultrasound of heart or kidneys
Yoga and Pranayam for High BP
Yoga poses involve breathing in a certain pattern which can control blood pressure as well as relieve stress.
It will also enhance the functioning of heart.
Yoga leaves a positive impact on your mind and body.
Yoga for High BP
- Shava asana
- Bhujang asana
- Setu bandh asana
- Manduk asana
- Shashank asana
Pranayam for High BP